tv Weekends With Alex Witt MSNBC May 24, 2014 9:00am-11:01am PDT
breaking news at this hour. information on a killing spree at a california child. who is the shooter and why did he do it? welcome. at this hour, investigators are looking at a self-made youtube video of the suspect behind a mass murder near the university of california at santa barbara. took the lives of seven people, including the shooter. today, investigators are looking at nine crime scenes created by this driveby shooting, including that youtube video. >> we are current ly analyzing both written and videotape evidence that suggests this was a premeditated mass murder. >> i want to bring in james
cavanaugh. all right, james, i know you've worked on a lot of high-profile investigations. take me through the next part of this investigation. what are investigators looking for? >> well, clearly they're going to be looking for motive and looking for anything that can help, you know, to prevent one in the future. ways goi what's going on is the sheriff says there's only one shooter here. it's horrible for the families on holiday weekend to lose all these people. apparently lly a lot of young people. nine crime scenes. is there any other crimes before it where somebody could have got the gun or could have helped him. but it looks not like that at the moment. >> it's something like a psychological autopsy, right? >> right, psychological autopsy
we call is what we're going to try to do is go back in the month preceding usually, maybe a couple of months preceding the event. people are wrong when they say the guy snapped. we found, over many years in law enforcement, that these spree killings, they're not when people snap. they really are a slow boil. a workup to the thing. and preparation. and the facts that are out there where we've seen there's multiple crime scenes and bullets all over an apartment complex, you know, at different locations so this is a guy driving a bmw with lots of ammunition. so if he's -- on his way to a shooting range, why does he have all this ammunition, so that's a fact that goes to premeditation. besides others the sheriff referenced they may, you know, may add to the motive. he's angry at someone, likely in a spree killing like this the
motives are going to surround revenge and hatred. he hates somebody and he's seeking revenge. we see that in workplace violence as well. he's mad at somebody. he wants to get back at them. he goes in this horrific shooting spree. >> you mentioned young people involved. that is reported. there's no confirmation yet. since it is so close to the campus, it's an area where a lot of kids would live off campus live right there in that community. but talk about the responsibility of dealing with this or how to prevent something like this from university police. i mean, granted, they're charged with protecting the students when they're on the campus itself. but, look, they've got to extend it also to the community where these kids live. >> right. great point, alex. when you look at what the santa barbara county sheriff's department did here, i think really they did what law enforcement can do. it's a credit to them they have deputies on patrol in this
crowded college area, restaurant venue. so they have deputies on foot. it's very important they have a press answer. they were able to kind of interrupt the shooter. they engaged him in two gun battles. i've been in gun battles with people in cars as a uniformed officer. bullets are flying. you're shooting. people are, you know, hurt so they did a good job in getting this thing stopped and whether he shot himself or the deputy shot him, there was a result of the deputies engaging him at least twice to prevent that. so it's a horrific case. i hope all these wounded people will pull through. >> yeah, at this point, seven deceased, seven wounded, one apparently with life threatening injuries. again, nine different crime scenes where the shooting took place. stand by, will you, for a
moment? i've got knbc, she is on the scene. thanks for joining us. tell me what you're learning on the story there, what's the latest. >> i've been out here since 3:00 this morning. one told me he heard what sounded like 20 gunshots. other people saying they thought it was fireworks going off but we know it was a shooting rampage that took place just behind me here. you see it's on the other side of the crime tape. this is at tig gra road and. that is where the alleged gunman crashed his bmw and a shootout with sheriff deputies. right now, still unclear if the suspect was shot by deputies or whether it was a self-inflicted gunshot wound. >> i ran across the -- i kind of took cover there and there was a few people that were with me on the other side. >> did you see the car? >> yes, he doubled back.
he exchanged fire. at first, it was somebody else cha exchanging fire but somebody said it was a deputy. >> several people including the alleged gunman killed. several others hospitalized. all being treated for gunshot wounds this morning. sheriff deputies are looking at youtube video. possibly as early as those thursday. the alleged gunman identified as 22-year-old elliott roger. he is on this video. this video runs for six minutes. he is rambling about killing people, beginning with the girls in the uc santa barbara so sorority. they're looking through that right now. sheriff tells me it suggests that the shootings were premeditated. we are waiting for an update from the sheriff. he is expected to give us an
update. it is still an active scene. the area has been blocked off for several hours. we've not been able to get any further than this area. we're learning, it sounds like the alleged gunman was looping around this area a couple times because there are so many different crime scenes out here. so nine crime scenes. they're still trying to sort it out right now. >> all right, i appreciate the live report. you've given us some more information from which to work. given what jane has just reported, you mentioned the likelihood of this being a revenge spree killing. what she said would confirm that if it was a disgruntled man and he was looking for women of some sort. what are you finding, is that a guy would has been spurned by women? you said often it's someone who hates people. >> right. the sheriff's examining a youtube video that may be from the shooter. if it turns out to be that it is the shooter and he's laying out
his crime, it's almost like a suicide manifesto. he's going to tell you what he's going to do. spree killers. it's not a snap thing. it's planned. you're in your car. he has a lot of ammunition. he's driving around a place. he's mad at somebody for some reason. certainly wrapped in mental illness. i mean, there's got to be some psychiatrist, forensic psychiatrist who could analyze that and look at that for us. even when you're mentally ill, there still has to be a motive attached to that. in cases like this, the motives for violent crime, greed, power, hate, revenge and escape, is my personal formula for the motives of violent crime that i've looked at over many years and this would tend to surround revenge and hate. he's got hatred for someone. he's seeking revenge on them. if it were not for the deputies, it would have been even worse. >> absolutely.
pretty horrific time there. particularly in isla vista. a lot of kids live there. we're hoping for the best. jim cavanaugh, thank you very much. overseas now. historic trip by prope francis o the middle east. which will also include stops in israel and the west bank. it is his first trip to the region since becoming head of the catholic church. with a welcome to you, how is pope francis being received there today? >> the alex, pope francis received a very warm welcoming from at least 30,000 people at this city. the first big mass he held on his trip to the holy land, they all came to see the pope or the ba ba as they call him around here. of course not all of them were
jordanians. the pope in his homily said he wanted to embrace affectionately all the christian refugees. and among them, many christians from those countries still living here in jordan. right now, the pope is heading to bethany, beyond jordan, about 45 minutes from here, and of course that's the place where christians believe jesus was baptize his to meet some of his refugees he mentioned during his homily, to show they are not alone, he is there for them. tomorrow, he is flying directly into what he calls the state of palestine. the palestinian territories have been recognized during the united states in 2012 as a state, nonmember state, and the fact the vatican has called them that has enraged the israelis and given a political turn to this trip. >> does the pope plan to address
that? the myriad of issues that can come here, the potential political and religious minefields that he could face? >> well, of course, he said before leaving, he said this was going to be a strictly religious pilgrimage. the holy land is a land where politics and religion are so entwined, that you just cannot do that. and today, on his first engagement, when he met the king of jordan, he also talked about politics already. he said he was wishing for an ending of the conflict in syria, that he was wishing for a peaceful resolution between israel and -- of the israel/palestinian conflict, so it has already gone political, alex. >> all right, thank you very much, from imam, jordan. after a stormy start to the memorial day weekend, the skies are starting to clear up in the northeast. this was the scene a short time ago on the board walk in ocean city, new jersey, with service
members there on this memorial day weekend. a calmer day after a stormy night. here in new york, the american flags are up in rockefeller plaza to mark the holiday. alex wallace from the weather channel is here with more on that. hello, alex. >> across the northeast, today, we're dealing with showers around out there, new york city having to contend with that. but as we progress through the weekend, the shower active really starts to diminish. most of us staying dry as we move into our sunday and memorial day monday, most of the shower activity relegated to mainly northern new england. warming up, d.c., upper 80s. good day to hit up the pools. also in the south, big ridge of high pressure, area of high pressure in place here for us. 5 to 10 degrees above average is what we can anticipate. a lot of 80s and 90s. we'll also watch for some storms for sunday, particularly and into monday as well. mostly in the afternoon, so don't let that ruin any of your barbecue plans. in the southern plains, we've
got a bit of a boundary stuck in place. storms in place. bad news for memorial day plans. good news, we've got some rain in much needed areas here. on the west coast, dry skies for us, as we work our way through the weekend. the exception, the pacific northwest where we've got a few showers in place for our sunday, heading on into monday. i'll send it back to you, alex. >> okay, alex, many thanks for that. the historical election tomorrow in ukraine. will it be legitimate? i'm speak with two u.s. senators who are there. and vladimir putin's comments in a new interview next. and controversy at the 9/11 museum. we're going to tell you what is creating some serious complaints.
for its new president in the national election since the government in kiev was toppled three months ago. there's been heavy fighting this week. in an interview yesterday, russian president vladimir putin addressed the elections as well as the impact of the west's sanctions on russia. >> translator: watch very closely what will happen. >> translator: these sanctions are absolutely legal and lawful and of course they will decrease -- they make our relations worse. >> joining me now is democratic senator ben cardin, member of the foreign relations committee, and republican senator rob portman. gentlemen, thank you so much for being here. i'm glad you're here long distance with me. senator cardin, i'll reach out
to you first, sir what is the mood in kiev today? >> i'm telling you, i think the people are very excited. you're going to see record numbers come out to vote tomorrow. the people want to make the determination of their own government and they do not want to be interfered with, particularly by russia. you'll see a large voter turnout. there are a lot of parliamentarians here to show our support for the ukrainian people. >> certainly by your presence, that is evident. senator portman, will tomorrow be a legitimate election? as far as the u.s. is concerned, would the top contenders be friendly to the west or might they get pulled towards moscow? >> alex, i think it will be, from all we can tell, a good election. we've been here today, meeting with government officials, but also election law experts really from around the world who are watching carefully. i think the preparations have been appropriate. they think a lot of folks are
going to come out. there are two areas of the country in eastern ukraine where there's been a lot of violence. there is concern there we might not see the turnout we would hope for. because, frankly, these insurgents would are there are intimidating the voters through the -- you talked about the 40 people who have died in the last few days have been in that area. there's the one concern. it's about 10% of the population. we hope there will be polling places available for folks in that region. other than that, it looks like it's going to be a high turnout. we're here to support the ukrainian people. >> we're having a little bit of trouble with our satellite signal. oh, good, senator, you're back with us. we had a little bit of a drop-off. i'm going to continue. >> i'm sorry. >> we got most of it. senator cardin, u.s. was saying recently that the recent separatist-led elections in crimea and eastern ukraine, they were fraudulent because the
previous governments there were deposed by force. russia says that's exactly what happeneded in kiev, that it was a cue doup dethat. why do we see these elections being more legitimate than the ones in crimea and the east? >> first all, russia has violated every international norm, every agreement they've enterred into. p they've violated the helsinki. their own agreements in this region. it was totally an illegal action. i think the global community understands that. that's why sanctions have been imposed not just by the united states but also by europe. what we're seeing tomorrow is an open -- we hope a free election where people will have the opportunity, whether they are from the russian community or they're from kiev or from eastern ukraine, we hope people will have a chance to do what democrats do, choose their leaders. and then we will expect that new country, that new leadership, to
respect the rights of all its citizens, whatever their ethnic background may be. >> to add to that, president putin says he will recognize tomorrow's vote, he little work with this new government. it follows reports the russian troops are moving back from ukraine's border. what is your read on these moves? do you think he's trying to deescalate the crisis? >> i certainly hope so. but, you know, trust but verify is something we've learned. i think we've been naive about how we deal with president putin. we'll see. the pentagon and nato sources have indicated to me that there may not be a significant pullback from those borders. we also know some of the violence in eastern ukraine can be traced back to russia and there's a clear border incursion going on every day where people are trying to come in from russia with weapons and sometimes heavy equipment that can be used in a military fashion. so, look, it's -- it's good that
he's saying respect the election results. i hope that's true. i think he is kind of seeing the writing on the wall, which is the ukrainian government has prepared these elections properly. people are excited about it. the turnout should be high. i'm hopeful this will give the new government the ability to get on its feet and to get help from around the world to begin to prepare for what will be a bright new future for ukraine, if wie can all stand together ad assure it's a fair election and they have the chance to move this election forward. >> regarding the efficacy of sanctions, as you know, russia signed a $400 billion gas supply deal with china, that is the world's top energy consumer. does this prove that russia can't be isolated by sanctions from the west? >> well, first, we need an energy policy so we're not dependent upon any country, particularly those that don't share our values. the deal between russia and china, that's their business.
we want to make sure our allies have adequate energy supplies. that's something we really need to work on. one last point about president putin, i hope, like senator portman, he is sincere, in saying he'll recognize the election, but has shown he says one thing and does just the opposite, so we really need to see. the best way to show that will be to work on what took part in ukraine. >> we learned yesterday that secretary john kerry has agreed to testify before the house oversight committee to answer questions about benghazi. is this a purely political move? get the image out there, taking the oath with cameras flashing? >> i don't know. i do know we ought to get to the
bottom of it and find out the facts. four americans were killed, including a u.s. ambassador, and it's a serious matter. the questions that i keep asking are actually also about what happened to the terrorists who did attack that compound, and that did kill our american ambassador and three other brave americans? and so i think there's some legitimate questions that need to be asked, based on the most recent e-mails, and recently disclosed, it would appear there's, you know, an appropriate investigate process that needs to be undertaken. so dig deep and find the answers for the american people. >> your thoughts on secretary kerry testifying? >> you know, senator portman and i have agreed on just about everything in this interview. we may disagree on benghazi. this has been investigated, investigated, investigated. i know that secretary kerry believes in a very open relationship with congress.
yet he's coming on the hill. whatever the reason is, it's always good to have him before our committees. let's look at all the investigations that have been done here and not make politics that is just too important of a subject. let's make sure our embassies are as safe as possible. >> this question to both you regarding the va hospital scandal. should secretary shinseki resign? i'll let you have first strab a that, senator portman. >> i've not called for his resignation yet, even though i'm outraged by what i'm learning. i've not called for it because i do think that the investigation is about to report, i do think there are other facts we don't have yet. but if it turns out that it goes up to the secretary's office, which it may well, and certainly there needs to be more accountable, then i not only call for his resignation but others who are responsible for not just the poor care our veterans have gotten. these people should be getting first in line for the best care
and it turns out they're sort of last in line for mediocre care in cases. but the fraud that was involved, that in some cases, i don't know if this happened in ohio or not, because we don't have the information yet. but in some cases there was actually fraud to be able to hide from the american people and from our veterans with the long waiting list. i'm eager to see what the results are of these investigations. especially, given i'm from ohio, we've got three or four veterans hospitals there, a lot of clinics. >> senator cardin, is a resignation in order? >> we're back in agreement. i want to make sure our veterans get the very best care. quite frankly, there's been a lot of good things that have happened in veterans health care in this country. we've reduced weight times. so it's a lot of good things happening. if there's secret lists, people being denied care, people being very much disadvantaged because of this type of action, that's what apparently happened in
phoenix, that's unacceptable. those responsible must be held accountable. we've got to make sure that never happened again. >> ben cardin, ohio senator ben portman, thank you. the search for a motive behind a night of violence in santa barbara last night. a live report on the shootings. why are police looking at a youtube video? u. mayo? corn dogs? you are so outta here! aah! [ female announcer ] the complete balanced nutrition of great-tasting ensure. 24 vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and 9 grams of protein. [ bottle ] ensure®. nutrition in charge™. [ bottle ] ensure®. really... so our business can be on at&t's network for $175 dollars a month? yup. all five of you for $175. our clients need a lot of attention. there's unlimited talk and text. we're working deals all day. you get 10 gigabytes of data to share. what about expansion potential? add a line anytime for 15 bucks a month. low dues... great terms... let's close.
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welcome back to "weekends with alex witt." santa barbara, california, a shooting rampage left seven people dead, including the suspect. police are looking at nine different crime scenes and a youtube video made by the suspect. >> we are currently analyzing both written and videotaped evidence that suggests that this atrocity was a premeditated mass murder. >> one witness described the chaotic scene that exploded near the university of california campus on friday night. >> i heard gunshots, which i thought were firecrackers, and i paused and i was a little confused. and i continued down this way it i actually got to this park right here and i saw gunfire and it heard people scream and run. >> police recovered a semiautomatic handgun from one
of the crime scenes. a dramatic turn in the ongoing battle over the future of the l.a. clippers. sources tell nbc news disgraced owner donald sterling has agreed to let his wife handle the sale of the team. this news brought this reaction from lebron james. >> we don't want this lingering around our sport. it sucks that it happened. but the players and everyone associated with this game, there's no need for it, you know, so the quick targer iw, done, the sooner we can move on. >> but does this change the game? joining me now, msnbc legal analyst faith jenkins. do you think that donald sterling came to sort of realization? >> it sounds like it. i think he probably looked at
the nba constitution and he had a lawyer also and they came to the conclusion, why start a legal fight that we're not going to win. basically, we either sell the team now or we sell it later but the team will be sold. right now, he's holding an asset at its peak value. it's really coming down to money now. why not make the most money that you can. >> a best case scenario for the league is that the sterlings and the nba, they reached some quick deal. but "usa today" reporting now that shelly sterling says she'll only agree to a deal if she is granted a minority interest in the clippers. >> adam silver has already come out and said if they go forward with this for sale, that meanings the sterlings will not own this team. they don't want this team to be a part of the sterling family. there are players that are saying they will not play for the clippers. sponsors have already pulled out.
so they are diminishing the value of the l.a. clippers. >> except here is what the commissioner, adam silver, had to say with regard to a member of the sterling family. this was all about donald sterling. let's play it out, what he had to say. >> -- have been no decisions about other members of the sterling family. and i should say that this ruling applies specifically to donald sterling and donald sterling's conduct only. >> granted, that was part of the news conference he granted, what, three, four days after the incident, so maybe things have changed. but if it is donald sterling's conduct that is only the thing -- that involve, a legal case of sorts, does the nba have anything against his wife? >> i think they do. in that press conference, i think he was referring to the lifetime ban and the punishment. he has since said in his eyes, in his view of the constitution, if there's a forced sale of the team, the ownership is removed
from everyone who had a stake in the team. so going forward, they're going to want to remove this team from the sterling family. even if shelly sterling comes forward and says, now, that we want to sell the team, the nba has final approval over who they sell the team to. in the end, they're not going to approve it remaining in the sterling family. >> how about the price the team goes for? can the nba say we want this out of the sterling family's hands so badly we're going to push for a fire sale sorts? you heard in the report it is definitely one of the peak values right now. >> whoever sells the team has to get the maximum value. i think that's why the sterlings are moving forward. because they get to negotiate that price. this is a situation where their punishment and taking this team away from sterling is going to net him about $1 billion. most legal situations, your punishment doesn't net you that kind money. so they understand that.
i think they want control over the sale, because they think they can probably get a better deal than if the nba took it and sold it themselves. >> you make a very good point. $1 billion in your pocket after something like this. now to the newly opened 9/11 memorial museum. some families are outraged because of the museum's gift shop and plans for a restaurant in addition to a black tie reception held earlier this week. there are a lot of upset families. >> this is a tough one. emotions are running high. some families say the museum is violating a burial ground. for the families of 9/11 victims, like firefighter jimmy rich's, ground zero is sacred. >> this is a place where 3,000 americans were murdered. they died there that day. >> reporter: when his dad jim heard a black tie reception was held this week at the new memorial museum to thank sponsors -- >> i couldn't believe they could do such a thing.
these people are down there partying on the remains of my son's dead body and i think that's a mistake. >> reporter: the reception, attended by former mayor michael bloomberg and donors like media company conde nast, sparked outrage among many family members, already angry the museum is charging a $24 admission fee and has a gift shop sell things like coffee mugs. even stuffed rescue dogs. also plans for a cafe serving food in a, quote, relaxing and comfortable environment. >> i don't know how anyone can go through such an emotional day looking at 3,000 faces there, knowing they're all dead, and want to go eat. >> reporter: the museum president said, we get no operating assistance from washington and so until we do we will have to raise money to run the museum and it is absolutely appropriate to thank donors who gave hundreds of millions of dollars. he pointed out similar museums like the holocaust museum and pearl harbor also have cafes and
gift shops. it's important to note not all families are upset. in fact, rich's father told me he doesn't have a problem with the museum. but he and other family members plan to hold a rally on thursday. >> it's so many emotions running high for these families. you can understand their complaints. in our 1:00 hour, reactions to comments made by one senator who is a democrat about what motivates republicans to fight against the president's policies. back to the beach. the big welcome to the unofficial start of summer. [ male announcer ] we're the names you know in the places you want to be.
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and things are picking up on the board walk in ocean city, new jersey. service members enjoying the sunshine today, as are plenty of joggers. in today's office politics, the "today" show's jenna wolf, you're going to meet her adorable infant daughter and hear about the crazy schedule she maintains. i asked jenna which of her "today" show stories has left the greatest impression on her. >> without any hesitation, going back to haiti after the earthquake. i lived in haiti for 11 years. spending a day looking for my nanny and trying to find her. see if she was alive. and then by some miracle of all miracles, running into her at the end of the day. was far and away the most unbelievable story i'd ever done. it was the first time i wasn't a reporter doing the story, i was the story. it was my emotions. i was crying. i had forgotten where i was.
there's not a camera. it was just about what was in front of me. people have said it moved them and brought them to tears. that resonates with me. i loved this woman so much. my nanny. >> what has changed for you, being a mom? >> i learned how to love. in a way that i never knew i was capable of. we all throw that word out. i love. i love oatmeal with berries. i love a sunny day. i love the nfl. i love my boyfriend. until you have a child and you look at this thing who is looking back at you and will get every single thing from you, you know, heart, soul and otherwise, you don't know what true love is. i will honestly say that. i mean, she -- the whole thing's been almost a religious experience for me. >> talk about harper's name. >> i think about harper lee. nick to that? >> originally, we wanted to name her estelle after my
grandmother. i was in love with her from the minute i met her. and she passed before harper was born. at the last minute, stephanie and i kind of fast forwarded a little bit and were like, can you see estelle playing lacrosse in high school? maybe something athletic, interesting, cool, and then always pair it up with estelle. >> you mentioned stephanie. talk about this relationship. i'm curious, when you guys started seeing each other, was the network aware, was people aware? and this is not so much because you two are a couple that way, but anybody who dates anybody with whom you work, you always want to low key it. >> so we did. we low keyed it in the beginning until we figured out what we were doing. after a year, we figured this is going somewhere. so we mentioned it to the folks here who were so receptive and so great about it. after 10 1/2 years in london, they moved stephanie back to new york, which was wonderful. and we're no spring chickens.
so we had to get back on this treadmill of life and move forward at a little quicker pace. and we did. in the span of a year, stephanie moved here and moved in and i got pregnant and we told nbc and we -- we made a family. we had a kid. and it's worked out pretty well. you know, as busy as i am, between the "today" show and my training -- because i have clients and traveling, i travel all the time, and taking care of the baby. >> i just had a cross talk with her from nigeria. >> stephanie does all that, but on an even bigger scale. stephanie has big, huge important stories. she's not racing around a track with mario andretti. she's covered these big, big -- >> dangerous. >> dangerous stories. she has her own bulletproof vest. she travels with security detail. but that's harper's mom. and harper's other mom is jumping off buildings and sky diving and wants to, you know,
seek out either great adventure that there is to seek. >> do you ever think about having more? >> oh, yeah. yeah. look, i'm 40. stephanie is a little older than i am. and we're definitely not getting younger. i checked with the doctors. there's no way that younger's going to happen. >> if anybody could, it would be you. >> i've tried. i ran backwards home yesterday from work. it didn't happen. >> tomorrow at this time, jenna shares her passion for motivating people to get healthy and fit. you don't have to look at a better example than jenna herself. why is john kerry being called to testify and what can he offer since he wasn't secretary of state back then? [ male announcer ] staples has everything you need to launch a startup from your garage. from computers, smartphones, d 3-d printers to coffee, snacks, and drinks to fuel the big ideas. yes, staples has everything you need to launch a startup from your garage.
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being the new kid on the block can be intimidating. take your kids on a walk through the online neighborhood and teach them how to navigate safely. show them sites you feel are acceptable. teach them how to deal with cyber bullies, and encourage them to come to you if they've seen something that makes them uncomfortable. you wouldn't let your kids go walking thru the neighborhood without permission, right? the same should hold true when they go online. the more you know. secretary of state kerry has agreed to appear before the committee on benghazi. chairman issa accepted the
secretary's offer at a hearing for june 12th. at spokes person suggesting kerry's appearance would eliminate the need for him to appear before the house committee investigating the deadly attack. joining me now, with a welcome to you both. phillip, secretary kerry was not secretary of state when the attack on benghazi occurred. so what does chairman issa expect to get from him since he wasn't even in the cabinet at the time? >> the most recent interest was spurred by the release of an e-mail from ben roads fromartice series of talking points as the administration figured out how it was going to respond. one of the questions raised is why it just came out recently, why it wasn't released when the white house released the series of e-mails last year. the argument that's being made by the house oversight committee is it would be poimportant to he secretary kerry come in and answer questions about why there
was that delay about getting that crucial piece of information. >> interestingly, also this week, house democrats, five of them, agreed to participate. what is the calculation behind that? >> right, their participation it actually -- it came as a surprise move to many democrats because some saw it as giving legitimacy to an investigation that many think is, you know, over and done. basically what the democrats want to be doing is they want to make sure that no misleading information comes out, and they want to keep politics and the blame game out of it, but that's going to be extremely difficult. to turn the conversation to the very real security issues that led to that attack, instead, you know, who's at fault. and this is a narrative that republicans are going to keep running with for the rest of the year, well into 2016. this is going to be a long battle for democrats. >> i want to get to another issue. growing controversy surrounding the comments made by outgoing
democratic senator jay rockefeller. he brought up president's race as a factor for why some in the gop oppose the president. that triggered quite an angry response from gop senator johnson. here's what they both said. >> it's very important to take a long view at what's going on here. and i'll be able to dig up some e-mails that make the portable care act doesn't look good. especially from people who made up their mind that they don't want it to work because they don't like the president. maybe he's the wrong color or something of that sort. i've seen a lot of that. and i know a lot of that to be true. it's not something you're meant to talk about in public. but it's something i'm talking about in public because it's very true. >> it was regrettable and i would say it's offensive. it seems i'm the only one in the room here really talking about oppositi opposition, that you would play the race card that you would say opposition to obamacare must stream from inherrant racism.
very offensive. >> what do you read as being behind rockefeller's remarks? he knows when he has a microphone on his lapel there. >> i think that democrats across the board have been frustrated with the response to obamacare for a long, long time. i think that what senator rockefeller was doing is, you know, there are thousands and thousands of reasons that people oppose the affordable care act. i think senator rockefeller was raising one that democrats have tried to tiptoe around for an extended period of time. i think that senator johnson's response was interesting as well. because he sort of seized upon that as being the reason for opposition. i think that both sides sort of took it to the extreme here in a way that really isn't going to advance the conversation forward very much. >> are there any democrats out there publicly echoing senator rockefeller's assertion? >> i think both democrats and republicans have backed away from that assertion. senator rockefeller stands by his remarks and, in a way, he
can, because he is retiring this year and he no longer has voters to face. democrats are staying away from it. harry reid did say -- you know, he is famous for his daily diatribes against republican resistance but he himself said he's going to stay out of it. right now, this is a conversation neither side wants to have. >> we thank you for this conversation. good to see you both. the search for a motive behind a night of violence in santa barbara. why are police looking at a youtube video for evidence. i'm m-a-r-y and i have copd. i'm j-e-f-f and i have copd. i'm l-i-s-a and i have copd, but i don't want my breathing problems to get in the way of hosting my book club. that's why i asked my doctor about b-r-e-o.
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carsthey're why we innovate. they're who we protect. they're why we make life less complicated. it's about people. we are volvo of sweden. mass murder, a drive-by gunman opens fire. and police say he was a pan on a mission. a lawmaker offers a solution that could rescue veterans from long waiting lines. history in the holy land. pope francis arrives in the middle east.
good day to all of you. it's 1:00 here in the east, 10:00 a.m. in the west. breaking news from santa barbara. investigators are looking into a shooting rampage that left seven people dead, including the suspect. police are scouring nine different crime scenes, they're interviewing a large number of eyewitnesses. that is the campus right near where the rampage happened. nbc's jennifer bjorkland is there. how did this day start? >> reporter: it started late night around 9:30 and ended right behind me. you can see the car in question, crashed into another car with a wrecked bicycle nearby. a lot of very curious onlookers. the shooting started around 9:30. this student enclave of isla vista. one student told reporters he saw shots fired from that bmw. critically injuring another. heard shots and screams.
another visibly shaken students told a reporter she was approached by the driver of a black bmw, flashed a handgun and asked her, hey, what's up. the student said she thought he was carrying some sort of air gun but she felt something buzz by her head and realized they were bullets. again, seven people dead, one of them, the alleged gunman. six others injured. it was just a really, really scary night here in isla vista. >> i realized that what was going on and i ran across the park and i kind of took cover there, and there's a few people that were -- that were with me on the other side, and -- >> do you see the car? >> yes, he doubled back and he exchanged fire. it looked like there was somebody on the ground. at first, i thought it was somebody else exchanging fire but somebody later said it was a deputy. >> reporter: the sheriff here says they're analyzing that youtube video and some other
videotaped evidence and some written evidence that sawings suggests, this atrocity was a premeditated mass murder. again, nine crime scenes to look through. one of them right behind me here in isla vista. >> i see the area cordoned off, but with regard to the students in the isla vista community, this is where a lot of these ucsb kids live. this has got to be so shocking, to wake u.p to this morning. have you talked to anybody? >> reporter: yeah, everybody standing around, kind of shell shocked. it used to have -- everybody said it was the highest density housing west of the mississippi. there's tons of kids out here. i talked to one student, asked if a lot of them left for the long weekend. he said no, a lot of them stick around. this is a normal weekend, everybody's out at night. this is nice because it's right by the water.
just a few months ago, there was the big melee that got national coverage. so there's always something going on here. usually it's something pretty fun. a lot of parties, a lot of memories made by island vista, utsb students and students at santa barbara city college. they had some horrible memories made overnight. a lot of them getting up this morning, just two weeks away from finals, shaking their heads, thinking, how could this happen? >> thank you very much for that. on the heels of that report, let's bring in jim cavanaugh. so, jim, there's this youtube video being examined as part of the investigation. what are police hoping to learn from the suspect's motives? what about copycats who might be inspired by this kind of violent attack? >> great question. copycats are real. people that are holding grudges or suffering some mental illness can see things in the news and want to act out.
so it's imperative people, if they have concerns about those close to then, always will call the police and authorities and, you know, let their fears be known. what the police will look at in the video is the motivation. the planning. was there any co-conspirators? unlikely. but was there any? did someone illegally supply the firearms? you know, they'll be looking at everything that happened in the month or two months prior to this event transpiring. there's some planning obviously, when you're in a bmw with a lot of ammunition from the reports. shells left all over these apartment complexes. two gun battles. >> hang on because i understand we have some video from last night. if we listen carefully, we'll hear some gunshots. let's have our director play that. [ gunshots ] >> oh, my god. [ gunshots ]
>> i mean, that's frightening. it's the kind of thing like you're not sure at first, right, you hear pops, and then more, you know, gunshots, and then you know what it is and you can tell whomover took this video, they knew exactly what was going on. >> right, alex. you know, the thing that keeps you alive, if you watch the witnesses in all these shootings, we call it in the police the aha moment or the oh no moment where you're just realizing something happened. you will hear witnesses say, i thought it was firecrackers, i thought it was a toy gun. these are the subtle clues that keep you alive. don't react like it's fireworks or backfire or a toy gun. react like it's real. with the number of mass shootings we have in the country, that's the way you need to react. you get small. you get behind something hard. like a car or a wall or
building. you assess where that's coming from. and you move away. so you need to -- you need to think differently to keep yourself safe. here are people in a restaurant area, on a memorial day weekend, and, you know, mass killers come to seek some revenge, retribution, hate. you don't need to worry about that. you need to think, it's happening, it's bullets, i'm going to get small, i'm going to get behind something hard, i'm going to move to a safe place. >> as you have alluded to, if there is confirmation that the suspect was somebody who had deep mental and emotional issues, that really ignited this violence, how does law enforcement respond in educating the public? you're talking about what to do from a safety perspective. in terms of identifying warning signs and then reacting in advance? >> right. well, this is -- this is the gap between violence and mass murder
and mental health that we won't close or we can't seem to close very well in america. what we need to do is have people closest to the shooters who see these subtle signs. remember, it's always going to be smaller things. youtube video. some writings. comments to a friend. i'm going to kill everybody over there where i work. i'm going to kill people. i'm angry. you can't let those things be dismissed. you have to report them. and then the police and the mental health professionals need to intervene and step in. and talk to the person and see if they can be stopped. many times, it is. you know, we don't hear all the time about the times there are, but sometimes they're in the news and they're stopped. but they're stopped really every day by the police and mental health professionals. >> all right, jim cavanaugh, many thanks, we appreciate that. just so it's very clear this doesn't just happen here, there's breaking news along the same lines from belgium where police say gunfire has erupted at the jewish museum in
brussels. at least three people are dead. belgium's foreign minister said he saw three bodies at the entrance of that building. reports are saying a person with a backpack opened fire, then fled. and staying overseas, where today pope francis kicked off his three-day visit to the middle east, arriving in jordan this morning. the pontiff met with the king and queen. he held a holy mass at a stadium in amman. his visits will include stops in both the west bank and israel. nbc is following this history making visit for us. joining me now from jordan's capital, amman. let's talk about security in jordan and how that was beefed up. how is he being received there today? what kind of protection is he being offered? >> security is very tight here in jordan. wherever you walk in the city center around here, where i'm
actually staying. you can see thousands of policemen line up in the street. and the pope is not making it easy for them at all. once again, he has decided to -- he has refused bulletproof cars and he's opted to travel in a normal consumer car. well, of course, that's another indication that the pope really has more faith in interreligious dialogue than fear, religious hatred, alex. >> does the pope plan to address the issues that plague that region? >> he's already talked about the exodus of christians who are forced to flee their countries due to persecution. jordan, in particular, is a country that welcomes and harbors many refugees from
across the region. among them, there are many christians. of course, most of them these days come from war-torn syria. there are 1.3 million refugees from syria here in jordan. most of them staying in refugee camps. he's addressing that issue right now, actually. he's in bethany, beyond jordan, where christians believe that jesus was baptized. he's meeting young refugees to highlight that problem in particular, alex. >> thank you so much. in amman, jordan, for us. back here in the u.s., new today, president obama paying tribute to the men and women who gave their lives in service to this country. >> we owe them so much. so this memorial day, we'll gather together as americans to honor the fallen with both public ceremonies and private remembrances. and i hope all americans will take a moment this weekend to think of those who have died in service to our nation. a federal judge has ruled long-serving congressman john
conyers name can appear on michigan's primary ballot come august. after saying he was ineligible due to nomination problems with signatures. now a new job, president of the boy scouts of america. last year, the boy scouts organization decided to allow gay scouts but not gay leaders. and gates said he would have gone further but says now is the type to focus on the kids. >> i also happen to think if we were to push this issue, particularly during the time that i'm president, that it would be very divisive to the movement, and could even split it. and i think that those who would suffer most from that would, in fact, be the kids. and we just got to keep the kid's interest at the forefront here. >> he gave a speech before the group's national leaders last night. the second amendment, it's the right to bear arms. is that what it really guaranteed? the author of a new book begs to
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new jersey governor chris christie is considering a bill on his desk that would ban magazines that hold more than ten rounds. now parents of children killed in the newtown school shooting are pressuring kricht christie to sign it, arguing smaller magazines could make mass shootings less deadly. newtown is one of a string of mass shootings in many years many people expected to be watershed moments in gun control reform. but then nothing happened. now a new book looked at how an historically overlooked amendment has become a political divisive issue in the country and the immense power of the lobbying group behind it. joining me, author of "the second amendment, a biography,"
and president of the center for justice at new york university, also former president clinton's speechwriter. it's good to see you, thank you for joining me. told you when you got this book done, i'd bring you on. it's a heck of a book. the second amendment reads, quote, a well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. how has the interpretation of that one sentence changed over time? >> thanks, alex, and thanks for having me on. you know, it's not really a surprise that the way we look at that provision, like the way we look at most of the constitution, changes over time and it's really the product of political argument and public campaigning. the second amendment was added to the constitution during the great fight over the ratification over that ground document. a lot of people were worried the new government would crush the
state militias of the 13 states. these were not like the national guard, really. they're not like -- they were not like anything we have today. every adult man actually eventually every adult white man was a member of the militia for their entire life and they were required to own a gun. and they brought it from home. so it was an individual ride but to fulfill the duty to serve in this militia. quickly, after the founding era, the militias began to disappear and we grew in a different way. things became more focused on the individual. there were obviously a lot of guns and gun laws throughout the country's history. people did not say that, well, the second amendment, this provision of the constitution, prevents us from having same gun laws. what's changed in the last several decades, as you say, is the national rifle association and other gun rights advocates waged a very effective campaign to canning the which weigh look
at that provision and the constitution. >> they've had an effect on constitutional law, michael. how did the nra do that? >> we think of then as being so powerful at the ballot box. you're right, this, in part, has manifested itself in changing the way we look at the constitution. the courts have ruled several times that the second amendment did not recognize an individual right to gun ownership. the first time the supreme court did that was in 2008, really recently, in a case called district of columbia versus heller. what happened was gun rights advocates began first with scholarship, to argue that, in fact, the founding era really did mean that it should be focused on individuals defending themselves at home with their guns. it moved public opinion which is really changed quite a lot. this is now the mainstream opinion. it shifted the politically elected branches of government so that you had changes in, say, for example, what the justice
department said the second amendment went. and only then did they go to court so that by the time they went to the supreme court, the case fell like a ripe apple from the tree. kind of a classic constitutional campaign, whether you like it or not, and other people have looked at it and said, you know, on an issue i might care about, that's something we need to wage as well. >> interestingly, though, if you look at polling. between 1990 and 2013, support for strengthening gun laws has fallen precipitously. in the same time, thing all the numerous mass shooting incidents we have. after each one, the public says, surely, this is going to change something. most notably with newtown, you had the manchin/toomey bill that went down in defeat. why has something not been done? >> that bill was support, as we understand, by upwards of 90% of the public. it was probably a product of the filibuster rules in the senate where a bill with majority
support nonetheless couldn't become law. you're right, people -- people have kind of mixed views in some ways. they are focused on freedom and they're skeptical of government, the federal government telling them what to do. at the same time, they think that guns could not be in the hands of the wrong kind of people. and that there ought to be commonsense gun laws. to the american public in many ways, gun rights and responsibility and reasonable gun laws really ought to go hand-in-hand. what's kind of new and could make life more complicated is this fundamentalism around the second amendment of people arguing, hey, this is going to prevent us from having any kinds of reasonable gun laws. one thing that's interesting, ever since the supreme court rules on this, dozens and dozens of courts all over the question have considered existing gun laws. they've said, you know what, we have gun rights in this country, but we also have the right as a
society to protect ourselves. we can make that both work. it may well be this is not going to upend all those laws. >> i'm curious, because supporters of guns take the issue very personally so what kind of reaction has your book received? >> well, you're right, you know, gun rights supporters, as they would consider themselves, are very intense in their feelings and in some ways that's part of their political success. the book has gotten, so far, a terrific reaction. i'm happy to say. you know, i would say some of the comments, you know, on blogs and that sort of thing from some folks have not been wildly enthusiastic but a lot more have been very encouraging. the fact is, when you actually look at the history of the second amendment, you know, there are things in there that would surprise liberals and surprise conservatives. this idea that people should be able to have guns isn't something that was made up. it really was part of what the founders were talking about. and even after the civil war,
part of the goal was to make sure former slaves could get guns. so that might surprise some people. on the other hand, it never was the case it was this unlimited right to a gun that was protected in the constitution. it was a public purpose that was sought to be served. that broad concept is still valid. >> i'm glad you outlined it in this book. i have looked through it with great detail. the second amendment biography, it's excellent. thank you very much for joining me. good luck with it. it's dedicated to the victims of 9/11. there are some things upsetting to families. [ male announcer ] if you suffer from a dry mouth then you'll know how uncomfortable it can be. [ crickets chirping ] but did you know that the lack of saliva can also lead to tooth decay and bad breath?
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36 million americans are on the road. many them will be going to the beach. just like nbc's peter alexander. >> hoping you're having a good weekend. this is going to be a gorgeous weekend to be at the beach. we're at ocean city maryland. most popular beach destination in this state. 250,000 people expected here this weekend. across the country. it makes sense a lot of folks want to hit the beach. 72% of americans say at some point this summer they're going to go to the beach. in miami beach, 76% occupancy in the hotels there. that's up 5% over last year. it's obvious this is critical season for these atlantic ocean, these beachfront locations. for these businesses in particular, they've got 15 weekends until labor day to make the majority of their income. there's one business you don't want to miss. ooh, good toss right there. this is candy kitchen saltwater
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seamlessly. so you can get back to what you love. when everyone and everything works together, business just sings. welcome back to "weekends with alex witt." breaking news out of southern california where investigators are looking at a shooting rampage that left several people dead including the shooting suspect. this happened near the university of california campus there. police are interviewing a large number of witnesses. one witness caught some of the terrifying moments on video. [ gunshots ] well, that wasn't part of the video we'd heard earlier in
which -- was shot by this same person. you could hear gunshots in the background. nonetheless, nbc's jennifer bjorkland is there in the area. what are you hearing, particularly from eyewitnesses? >> we're hearing a lot of just scary, scary stories about a car driving by, a man with a gun in the car, asking people, hey, what's up. we heard that from one person who turned around, walked away, because it was freaky, is what she said. and then just to have bullets whiz by. want to show you the car. it's behind us right now. where it crashed last night about 9:45. it started at 9:30 is when this happened. lasted for about 10, 15 minutes, along the road here, there were nine different crime scenes that detectives are going to have to go through. living just about half a block away from where this happened. kellen cav narrow, i knew i was going to mess up your name, tell me about what it was like to be
here last night, what was the situation? >> so, i was in my house actually, me and my roommate just heard a loud bang. all sorts of vehicles, coming from every which direction. just complete madness. you couldn't really tell what was going on. i also heard people talking about someone being run over this way and people getting trampled over here and it seemed like a really awful situation. >> there doesn't seem to be a lot of information amongth the students about what actually happened. we're hearing reports of six people dead, seventh person being that gunman, and several others. but no names. do you know any these people, do you know anyone who knows anyone? >> i have not heard. i really would like to know. i definitely am concerned. i know a lot of people in this community. odds are i probably do know one of those people. a lot of my friends are out of town now so it kind of makes me
uncomfortable, not knowing what went on. >> not hearing from them because they're possibly injured? >> exactly. >> what was it like, did anyone tell you to stay inside? >> no, i cage outside and there were a lot of cops patrolling and i figured i'd let them do their business and got back inside. after a few weeks ago with the riots, i figured i'd lock my doors and stay inside. >> thank you so much for talking to us. a scary night for a lot of students who are just two weeks away from finals, wondering how this could happen. alex. >> i'll bet they are. jennifer bjorklund, thank you. the senate is going to take up the nsa domestic spying bill. an overwhelming 303-121. bill would end bulk collection american's phone calls but little else following what some are calling its watering down by the white house and intelligence communities. joining me now is republican
congressman, chairman of the task force on terrorism and unconventional warfare. welcome back to the broadcast, sir, it's nice to see you. i know you voted in favor of this bill, but you've been very supportive of the nsa. you've issued some great warnings about the terrorist threat. what happened with this vote? >> we have an obligation to protect the fourth amendment, the right to privacy. we also have the obligation to secure this securicountry from s within and without. this bill was passed at a judiciary committee without a single dissending vote. and then of course went to the house. passed overwhelmingly. this is a good bill. you know, alex, when i was in europe recently, i met with ambassadors from the organization of security cooperation in europe. our ambassador set up the meeting. i asked him, what do you
perceive is the threat today in america from al qaeda and other associates? what role should america play? what role do you believe intel data plays? and really the agreement from all the group was we want privacy but we need your intelligence. we have to know with al qaeda and these associate groups are doing. they're stronger, more sophisticated than ever. they're not just training in one country, they're in a dozen countries. this is not a backyard game. we have to be focused and clearly understand our adversaries and use either means possible. yet at the same time, what this bill does is secure the privacy for the american people. >> do you see this, sir, as a first step of sorts? are there other reforms, if any, you would like to see? >> i think this is a prudent reform that really addresses the issue. this puts all this data, this private sources, we have to go to the fisa court, as we had to before, to demonstrate a
specific address or specific number. you can't just do blanket numbers. and then wholesale go in and look at data from these private venues. the fisa court has to approve it. and then demonstrating your need to know it and the reality that there is a terrorist from outside the united states who is could be targeting someone inside the united states. >> sir, with regard to the specifics, how specific do they have to be? because i'm reading in the research here that it's not necessarily strictly defined. i mean, you can have the nsa, for instance, specify they want to collect targets in a city, a state, a zip code. >> that's really not correct. it has to be specific. i was with the attorneys. i was with chairman of the judiciary committee. we went over there for several hours. and you have to have a specific request. each request has to be stand-alone to go in and get
approval from the fisa court. >> with regard to the senate, how do you expect that body to vote? >> well, i heard senator widen believed it was too restrictive. those individuals who are very much involved in the intelligence on behalf of our country understand the grave circumstances we face from our adversaries. and so it is a balancing, recognizing we have to continue to honor our constitution and protect the privacy of the american people, but we have to understand that our adversaries are highly sophisticated. and they have not backed down. we can't back down. >> representative, glenn greenwald has published the expo says, revealing the nsa is recording and archiving every phone call in the bahamas and another unnamed country, mexico, philippines, kenya.
why are some of these places, say the baja mas, integral? >> it's where terrorists are located. let's talk about mr. snowden. mr. snowed be had access to nearly 2 million documents related to our department of defense. me was fu he was fully aware. as a result, our adversaries had that information. this is very critical information. far overshadows the reality of what he was able to convey in terms of data collection. mr. snowden is no hero. what he did was as a trader. >> sir, there are those who would argue the public deserves some transparency on that and he brought that. >> the transparency is there. i think that's why you have every member of the judiciary committee, not one descending
vote, democrat and republican, conservative or liberal, voted on behalf of this bill. this is a good bill that protects the american people and protects the privacy of the american people, while it ena e enables us to track those who are in pursuit as adversaries. >> sir, had we not had the information from edward snowden, wouldn't this vote have never happened? >> well, mr. snowden was no hero. as i said, what he did was a discredit. as i told you, when i was in europe, i had one foreign minister in europe who said, without intelligence, we're blind. the world understands the gravity of the situation. when i was in the middle east, meeting with our friends and allies in the middle east, the crown prince, amir, others, said, we must work with the united states, we must work with israel. oured ed aadversaries are thos
seek to destroy all of us. those are the terrorists. this is an issue that has to be -- stay on the radar screen. we can't assume that the war on terrorism is over. it's not over. >> all right. representative, thank you for joining me, i appreciate your time. >> thank you, ma'am. family of 9/11 victims are unhappy about some things at that new museum. to new york sta. the numbers are impressive. over 400,000 new private sector jobs... making new york state number two in the nation in new private sector job creation... with 10 regional development strategies to fit your business needs. and now it's even better because they've introduced startup new york... with the state creating dozens of tax-free zones where businesses pay no taxes for ten years. become the next business to discover the new new york. [ male announcer ] see if your business qualifies. become the next business to discover the new new york. grossemisconduct... ortho crime files. ...disturbing the pantry. a house, under siege.
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opinion written and msnbc writer goldie taylor. good to see all three of you. thanks for joining me. happy memorial day weekend. let's go first to crossing the line. some 9/11 families are pretty upset after a black tie reception was held this week at the new memorial museum at ground zero to thank sponsors. take a listen. >> this is a place where 3,000 americans were murdered and they died there that day. i couldn't believe they could do such a thing. these people are down there partying on the remains of my son's -- over my son's dead body and i think it's a disgrace. >> you have some upset about the $24 entrance price. there's a gift shop sell things like coffee mugs, cell phone cases, stuff animal rescue dogs. plans for the cafe are upsetting many. the director says we get no rating assistance from washington so until we do, we will have to raise money to run the museum and is absolutely is
appropriate to that is correct donors who gave hundreds of millions of dollars. one woman who lost her son in the attack told nbcnews.com, quote, people have to recognize this was a very expensive project. you need to raise the money when people visit here from around the world, they want a memento to remember this day and reflect on their experience of visiting the memorial. with all that said, goldie, your reaction, what's that? >> they should have held it some place else. >> the black tie reception? >> should have held it some place else. that is hallowed ground. it should be preserved in that way. if you are having a party on top of my father's grave, i would be outraged. i think they could have held the event somewhere else at a private venue. had all of the alcohol and festivities they could have wanted for them and their donors. but this ground and that museum should be preserved as a sanctified space so we can honor those fallen on 9/11. >> okay, joe, how about the gift shop and the cafe? what do you think?
>> well, i just think it's really, really hard. you got to not ever forget the families that lost loved ones on september 11th. you've got to be sensitive to them. you've got to do what's right and what's fair in the eyes of everybody. so you can't -- i know the museum needs to have revenue generators and that's maybe what the coffee shop and the gift shop are. but you've got to think very carefully about how you honor the people who lost their lives and could do it in a way that doesn't offend their family members. and that has not been done. the family members are offended. many of them are offended. that's not right. that's not fair to them. >> yeah. but, kevin, do you have any insight into what went into the decision making process here? >> well, this is an important conversation to be having, especially on memorial day. more than 1,100 unidentified victims of the 9/11 attacks, their bodies were not recovered.
i do think this was a completely out of touch, you know, party to be having, or acknowledgement to be having. former new york mayor michael bloomberg raised an interesting point. that is, it would cost about $60 million to have -- to get rid of the fees annually. if congress were able to pay $60 million, people wouldn't have to pay the $24 fee in order to go and see this. when you look at monuments here in washington like the washington monument, the lincoln memorial, all of -- the smithsonian museums, all of these are free. when we have our brave men and women returning home after fighting for -- these wars, shouldn't they be able to go to that for free and not have to pay that fee? it's an important conversation to have. >> i'm curious, though, can we just take the issue of the cafe? because that's one that seems to right here in our newsroom generated the most sort of controversy. picture down the road. moms and dads with their kids and they're trying to feed the
kids and it's a mess and it's bustling and boisterous. do you think that's most offensive as you're looking at photos of the deceased on the wall? goldie? >> i think that's absolutely true. i think we have to find meaningful ways to both drive revenue and honor our fallen. i think the museum has failed to strike that balance. and so with the cafe, with the parties, with the shuffling out of first responders on the day before the museum open because it's now a private event for these donors, i think it's just wrong. they have to work harder to strike a more meaningful balance. >> can't they go up the street and find somewhere to eat? >> yeah, that's going to be a deli on the corner for sure. democratic senator jay rockefeller's comments about the gop and president obama's race is getting some strong reaction from fellow republican senator ron johnson. let's listen to senator rockefeller's comments followed by senator johnson's response.
>> it's very poimportant to taka long view at what's going on here. i'll be able to dig up e-mails that make part of the portable care act that doesn't look made up their minds that they don't want it to work because they don't like the president. maybe he's of the wrong color. something of that sort. i've seen a lot of that. and i know a lot of the that to be true. it's not something you're meant to talk about in public. it's something i'm talking about in public because it's true. >> it's regrettable, and i would say offensive. seems like i'm the only one in the room talking about opposition that you would play the race card. opposition to obamacare must stream from some inherent racism. very offensive. >> joe, your reaction? >> my reaction is that i think it's possible to have a discussion discussion, a reasonable discussion in the senate about how to make the affordable care act work better without insinuating that racism enter into it.
the there are people, including elected officials that may not like people because of the color of their skin. and that's absolutely true. but i don't think sit needs to be lumped in with the conversation about the affordable care act. especially on the senate level, if we can figure out a way to make it work better for all americans. >> this is a guy who mab in the senate for 30 years. granted he's retiring, but did he take you by surprise? >> senator rockefeller always jumps in there, so, no i'm not surprised. racism definitely exists in america. look no further than donald sterling. the latest obamacare polls, a lot of americans are against this. 43% according to the latest ap poll oppose obamacare. . 26% are still undecided. so i do think that there are a lot of concerns with obamacare that are unrelated to race. >> some people think it's not liberal enough, though. goldie, a final quick thought from you on this. >> i think if we're going to
have a meaningful conversation about this, we have to recognize there are people who oppose obamacare, oppose affordable care act because of what it is. but there are also people on this planet who oppose it because of who he is. and so i think it is an idle war. >> a picture becomes a campaign controversy next in the best and worst of the week.
it's anytime now for the best and worst of the week. first with ladies, goldie, what's yours? >> the piece from the atlantic called the case for reparations, and so like four years ago i might not have agreed with that. but he brings forest a compelling case. my worst of the week is mitch mcconnell who said the affordable care act has nothing to do with the enrollments in kentucky. >> okay. joe, how about yours? >> my best is a local story close to my heart?
the school district where i do work, my colleagues have done a great job in getting our kindergarten kids reading ready and improved scored by 900%. that means more kids will go to college and that sort of thing. 900%! that's great. >> so excited. we're thrilled. my worst story is what happened in santa barbara. just a tragedy again. the taking of innocent lives. my heart and the all our hearts goes out to theaz families. >> my best of the week will go to senator john mccain's daughter megan mccain, who called out karl rove. regardless of what you think of karl rove. she says she hates them, and it's refreshing to see a politician's child, you know, be able to give their opinions, even if it clashes with their parent. my worst of the week is going to go to clayton kelly for facing charges with connection of sneaking into a retirement home and snapping a picture of
senator cochran's wife, who is in the hospital and now is facing charges, so not good there. >> not cool. >> not cool. all right, guys. also to you, and joe watkins. have a good one, guys. that's a wrap up of "weekends with alex witt." up next, craig melvin is in the house. you got the bargain kind?
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smoke? nah, i'm good. [ male announcer ] celebrate every win with nicoderm cq, the unique patch with time release smartcontrol technology that helps prevent the urge to smoke all day long. help prevent your cravings with nicoderm cq. this incident appears to be a mass murder situation. we currently have seven confirmed dead. that includes the suspect. >> developing right now, a deadly drive-by rampage near a college campus. seven dead. seven wounded. the alleged shooter's online manifesto. why he says he did it. diplomacy and religion on this saturday. pope francis is in the middle east. he's adding his voice to peace talks in the region. can he do what other world